History of The Jews in Iraq

The history of the Jews in Iraq is documented from the time of the Babylonian captivity c. 586 BCE. Iraqi Jews constitute one of the world's oldest and most historically significant Jewish communities.

The Jewish community of Babylon included Ezra the scribe, whose return to Judea in the late 6th century BCE is associated with significant changes in Jewish ritual observance and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Talmud was compiled in Babylonia, identified with modern Iraq.

From the Babylonian period to the rise of the Islamic caliphate, the Jewish community of Babylon throve as the center of Jewish learning. The Mongol invasion and Islamic discrimination in the Middle Ages led to its decline. Under the Ottoman Empire, the Jews of Iraq fared better. The community established modern schools in the second-half of the 19th century.

In the 20th century, Iraqi Jews played an important role in the early days of Iraq's independence, but the Iraqi Jewish community, numbered at around 120,000 in 1948, almost entirely left the country due to persecution following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Most of them fled to the newly founded state of Israel, and today, fewer than 100 Jews remain.

Read more about History Of The Jews In Iraq:  Early Biblical History, Late Biblical History and The Babylonian Exile, Greek Period, Parthian Period, Babylonia As The Center of Judaism, Sassanid Period, Islamic Arab Period, Mongol Period, Ottoman Rule, Modern Iraq

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